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The Top 67: Ranking the No. 36-40 players under Pitt basketball coach Jamie Dixon

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Today, we continue to rank the careers of all of the 67 basketball players ever to suit up for Jamie Dixon. As a reminder, here's the drill. Editor Anson Whaley, contributor Jim Hammett, and myself ranked each player and our composite results are displayed.

Before we get started, we employed a few main rules here:


1. Only the Pitt portion of a player's career counted - Khem Birch played less than a season with Pitt. While he was a productive college player elsewhere, the fact that he spent so little time with the Panthers showed in our rankings.

2. Only the time a player spent under Dixon counted - A player like Julius Page, for example, would rank higher, but he spent only his senior year under Dixon.

3. Best career, not best player - This isn't about determining the best player under Dixon. It's more about who had the best career at Pitt under Dixon. Steven Adams may be a better basketball player than several of the guys on the list but he only played at Pitt for a year and has certainly developed more in the NBA since then.

As we go through this list, we want to hear from you about players slotted too high, too low, or even the ones you think we got right. I've organized the rankings and would love to hear from you on Twitter as well @AronMinkoff.

40. John DeGroat

Position: Guard

Games Played: 52

Year(s) under Dixon: 2004-2006

MPG: 9

PPG: 2.4

RPG: 1.6

APG: 0.5

Cardiac Hill Rankings

Aron Minkoff: 41

Jim Hammett: 41

Anson Whaley: 38

Average Ranking: 40

DeGroat only played for two years at Pitt after transferring from Northeastern Colorado Junior College. He was known for his athletic and physical style of play, but most will remember him for starting games, while not playing many minutes.

39. John Johnson

Position: Guard

Games Played: 39

Year(s) under Dixon: 2011-2012

MPG: 14.1

PPG: 4.2

RPG: 0.6

APG: 1.2

Cardiac Hill Rankings

Aron Minkoff: 34

Jim Hammett: 40

Anson Whaley: 42

Average Ranking: 38.7


Johnson played meaningful minutes under Dixon and was expected to be one of the guards of the future. But after getting thrust into big minutes as a freshman, he never found his shot at Pitt, connecting on only 40% of his attempts. He later transferred to Penn State where he saw limited success. It's noteworth that Jamie Dixon, who has slowly adjusted his approach to playing freshmen, played Johnson in all 39 of the Panthers’ games in his lone season with the program.

38. Trey Zeigler

Position: Guard

Games Played: 31

Year(s) under Dixon: 2012-2013

MPG: 15.5

PPG: 4.4

RPG: 2

APG: 1.1

Cardiac Hill Rankings

Aron Minkoff: 38

Jim Hammett: 37

Anson Whaley: 40

Average Ranking: 38.33


Zeigler transferred to Pitt from Central Michigan with two years of eligibility remaining. He was looked to as a potential star, but did not fare as well as the projections. He averaged 15.5 minutes per game in his lone season with the team before transferring to a third school following the season where he would play his final year at TCU. He did find more success there, averaging just over ten points per contest.

37. Khem Birch

Position: Forward

Games Played: 10

Year(s) under Dixon: 2011

MPG: 15

PPG: 4.4

RPG: 5

APG: 0

Cardiac Hill Rankings

Aron Minkoff: 33

Jim Hammett: 39

Anson Whaley: 37

Average Ranking: 36.33


Birch was a top 10 recruit nationally and at the time, Dixon's biggest 'get'. The honeymoon period between Birch and the team didn't last long and after a measly ten games, he was gone. He later went on a local radio show and voiced his displeasure, transferring to UNLV afterward. Birch's move seemed like a hasty decision and he followed that one up with another poor choice later, leaving UNLV early to jump to the NBA Draft. Birch went unselected and while playing in the D-League and summer leagues, has yet to play in an NBA game.

36. Mark McCarroll

Position: Forward

Games Played: 64

Year(s) under Dixon: 2003-2005

MPG: 14.4

PPG: 4.1

RPG: 3.3

APG: 0.9

Cardiac Hill Rankings

Aron Minkoff: 39

Jim Hammett: 34

Anson Whaley: 36

Average Ranking: 36.3


McCarroll was at Pitt for five years and was largely a role player throughout his career. He played his final two years under Jamie Dixon and saw more time on the court as a junior than he did as a senior. He shot better than 50% from the field  and knocking down 38% of his three-pointers in that season, became somewhat of a long-range threat while averaging a career-best 5.5 points per game.